By SHERI GASSAWAY
Jefferson City – Local sisters from the Missouri Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) and the St. Louis chapter of CLUW attended an April 11 rally at the Missouri Capitol in support of Missouri becoming the 38th and final state to ratify the federal Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).
The ERA is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex. It also seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce, property, employment and other matters.
The amendment, first proposed by the National Women’s Party in 1923, consists of 24 words and 96 letters: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
Bills to ratify the ERA are active in both chambers of the Missouri state legislature. Senator Jill Schupp (D- Creve Coeur) is the sponsor of Senate bill SCR 7, and Representative Judy Morgan (D-Kansas City) is the sponsor of House bill HCR 12. If approved in Missouri, the ERA would be the 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The rally was sponsored by Project 28 MO, a nonpartisan, grassroots organization based in the Kansas City area that is working with about 50 organizations across the state to get Missouri to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment this session.